By Chinedu James
Technology giant, Google, has announced that applications are open for its second class of its Launchpad Accelerator Africa program. The application is reserved for the first six African countries that participated in the first class which includes Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda.
Google also announced that the application will be extended to startups from other African countries. They include Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Morrocco, Rwanda, Cameroon, Zimbabwe, Senegal, Ethiopia, Botswana and Cote d’Ivoire.
The head of startup success and services, Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa, Folagbade Olatunji-David said that the programme has been impactful since its inception, creating jobs and changing lives.
“The three-month programme has connected the participating startups with more than 20 teams from Google as well as 40 mentors from nine countries including India, the UK, USA and Jamaica. Each has received $10,000 in an equity-free cash grant and between them, they have raised over $7 million. The startups have directly 132 jobs and impacted 4.5 million users.
“We are humbled to be part of the success stories of these startups and as individuals we have learned great lessons from their dedication focus and drive. The companies will now go on to be part of the global Launchpad Alumni network, joining over 100 companies from 40 countries across 5 continents,” said Olatunji-David.
Since its creation less than a year ago by the Google CEO Sundar Pichai at Google for Nigeria, the Google Launchpad Accelerator Africa programme has continued to provide African startups with $3 million equity-free funds in addition to a working space, access to expert advisers from Google, Silicon Valley and Africa over the next three years, showing its commitment and support to grow the Sub-Saharan Africa developer ecosystem.
In order to qualify, the participating startups have to be based in Sub-Saharan Africa, be technology based, target the African market and also required to have raised seed funding. Also, as part of the requirements for the selection are the solutions and the problems the startup looks to solve, the value it creates for users and the challenge it addresses in its home city, country or Africa.
Applications for class 2 close on 8 July 2018. The class 1 of the programme graduated on Friday 8 June 2018.